Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Calstar: the Yealm

Saturday night's gig cancelled. I've no idea what it is about this year. That's the fourth cancellation we've had at little notice, and for circumstances completely outside of our control. On the other hand, with 43 gigs in the book for 2018 even after the cancellations, I should probably be grateful for the break.

Still, even with the cancellation I couldn't get down to Plymouth until late Saturday evening due to other commitments (had to go to church; the things you do for family!) At the time I thought it a pity, as the weather didn't look half so good on the Sunday as it did the Saturday, but as Dad and I both had Monday off work, we could still make the best of it.

Waking up Sunday morning aboard Calstar in QAB, the grim forecast seemed to be delivering as promised. The rigging was rattling in the wind, and the rain was pelting down. However, by late afternoon rain and wind eased, so we cast off and sailed around to the Yealm.

By the time we'd got around the Mewstones, the wind, still in the northeast, had freshened again, but the sky had unexpectedly cleared and the sun had come out.

A couple of hours of good sailing covered the 6 or so miles around the corner and into the Yealm. The pilotage to enter the river is a little bit involved, and not best advised at bottom of a spring tide as we did it, even if your boat only draws a little less than a meter.

We found our way on to the first of the two visitors pontoons without mishap however, although there was a somewhat intense moment whilst picking our way through the festoon of moored boats where we lost the channel and the depth under our keels dropped away to a little under half a meter before we found our way back to the channel again.

The forecast had suggested more heavy showers for the evening, but we saw nothing but blue sky. The Yealm is ever so sheltered once your in it by high sided, tree-shrouded river banks. Strangely peaceful despite the obvious popularity of the place.

We went ashore and walked around to the village of Noss Mayo to have a pint in the Ship Inn that afternoon, and then later on once the tide had come back in, took the tender up the Newton Arm to land back on the steps of the same pub for supper.

The following morning, the sunshine held for a pleasant sail back to Plymouth; leaving the river at high water is decidedly easier than entering at low. We shall certainly be back.

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